Star Trek: Voyager

Season 1 Episode 7

Eye of the Needle

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Feb 20, 1995 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
217 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 48579.4
The discovery of a micro-wormhole leading to the Alpha Quadrant allows the crew to communicate with a skeptical and paranoid Romulan. The crew is elated when they believe they might be able to transport to the Romulan ship. However, all is not as it seems.

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  • Will Gilligan get off the island?

    With a beautifully laid out plot, "Needle" is a fascinating bottle show with a tease of home that has enough interesting story dynamics to overcome the "Gilligan's Island" foregone conclusion. In short, it plays with the show's "impossible dream" without exploiting it.

    The A story begins with the simple discovery of a wormhole and lays out its cards one at a time, giving the viewer quite a journey as the acts progress. Teleplay writer Jeri Taylor doesn't rush a single step, letting each moment breathe and allowing the characters to interact to provide depth and build the anticipation.

    There's also a B story with Kes serving as a counselor for the Doctor as well as his advocate. Lien and deserves some credit for helping develop the Doctor's character, using Kes to push Picardo into adding layers to the hologram, and the two clearly have some chemistry together when there's give and take. And what's great about this substory is how easily it folds into the A story towards the end. Just as Kes is helping the Doctor become a more respected being and a true member of the crew, he's faced with the possibility of having it all come to an end as the crew discovers a way they might use to get home.

    It's a heck of an episode and all the better for being something only VOY could do, though DS9 does a variation of sorts in its sixth season episode, "The Sound of Her Voice". (VOY itself takes the idea and runs with it further in fourth season's "Message in a Bottle").

  • don't get your hopes up

    not terrible but not that super great, I mean you know they're not going to get home, so why fool ourselves with that wormhole

    I do always enjoy seeing Romulans, my favorite of the Star Trek villains, even if they're playing nice as was the case in this episode
  • Eye of the Needle

    Eye of the Needle was a perfect episode of Star Trek Voyager and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of character development, excitement, and more plot revolving around time. It was uplifting to see the crew get excited that they may have finally been able to go home or at least send a message to their loved ones, though it remains uncertain. Captain Janeway proves herself to be a great leader in this and each episode so far. This episode offers a shred of hope, but any fan of a great series knows that they characters have far more to do than get home right away. I look forward to more adventures and the next episode of Star Trek Voyager!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • A well done, very well written early episode…

    A well done, very well written early episode…

    Voyager discovers a wormhole. It's too small to use but they send a probe into it. The probe gets stuck but someone on the other side can access it. After some refinements, the probe serves as a communication relay and the Voyager crew make contact with a Romulan scientist. At first he is suspicious that they are Federation/Starfleet spies but eventually accepts their story about being trapped in the Delta Quadrant.

    They beam the Romulan to Voyager but soon discover he is actually from 20 years in their past. He still agrees to take their personal messages to loved ones back with him and then distribute them in his future, sometime after the date Voyager disappears. There's another hitch though. He seems to have died a few years before Voyager disappeared. There's a faint but diminished hope that the personal messages from Voyager will ever get through. This is a very fine, "can we get home" story. You know it's not going to happen and have the series end after only 6 episodes. Still you can't help but share their hope that all of this just might work.moreless
  • Great episode!

    This episode is one of my top favorite episodes in the first season. They find a worm hole and send a probe into it only to find that someone else is scanning it. After a while, they get contact through the probe! It's a Romulan from the Alpha Quadrant! This episode was exciting at times and a tear jerker at the end. From beginning to end, this was a great story and totally worth while watching many, many times! It actually gets better the more you watch it. You can appreciate it more. I give this a 10/10. This is an episode I highly recommend!moreless
Robert Picardo

Robert Picardo

The Doctor

Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew

Captain Kathryn Janeway

Robert Beltran

Robert Beltran

Commander Chakotay

Roxann Dawson

Roxann Dawson

Lt. B'Elanna Torres

Jennifer Lien

Jennifer Lien


Tim Russ

Tim Russ

Lt. Commander Tuvok

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Nitpick: Lt. Tuvok mistakenly wears Lt. Commander pips.

    • Nitpick: When the wormhole is first discovered by Ensign Kim, he states that it is "virtually microscopic" and in the next sentence states that the aperture is thirty centimetres in diameter. Thirty centimetres is approximately one foot, which is far from microscopic.

    • Nitpick: Janeway and Tuvok discuss that there is a one in four chance that the wormhole could lead to the Alpha Quadrant. This is based on the assumption that the wormhole leads to one of the four by the four quadrants in the galaxy. However, there is no reason to discount the possibility that it could lead to any number of infinite locations elsewhere in the universe.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • The Doctor: If there's one thing you can count on, it's that I am the last to be told about anything that happens on this ship.

    • The Doctor: Let's just say I've become accustomed to being treated like a hypospray.

    • Telek R'Mor: If you should find your way back during my lifetime I'd be an old man, but I would welcome a message from you. I am Telek R'Mor, of the Romulan Astrophysics Academy.
      Janeway: I promise you'll hear from us, because we will get back.

    • (talking to Telek R'Mor)
      Janeway: We have no way of communicating with Starfleet, with our friends and families. We're hoping you might be able to relay a message for us. Our crew is not large. Each of them could write a short personal message. You'd be welcome to read them all before passing them on. I think you'd be convinced that they're nothing more than the heartfelt words of some very lonely people.

    • (Talking about the Doctor)
      Kes: I don't understand why people treat him the way they do.
      Janeway: How do people treat him?
      Kes: As though he doesn't exist. They talk about him while he's standing right there. They ignore him, they insult him.
      Janeway: Well, as a matter of fact, I've been hearing the other side of the coin. Many of the crew have complained that the Doctor is brusque, even rude, that he lacks any bedside manner. We've been talking about reprogramming him.
      Kes: You can do that? It doesn't seem right.
      Janeway: Kes, he's only a hologram.
      Kes: He's your medical officer. He's alive.
      Janeway: No, he's not.
      Kes: He's self-aware, he's communicative, he has the ability to learn.
      Janeway: Because he's programmed to do that.
      Kes: So, because he's a hologram, he doesn't have to be treated with respect or any consideration at all?

    • (talking to Kes)
      Baxter: If I had to get treatment for something serious, if I needed surgery for instance, would he be performing it?
      The Doctor: Of course. And quite expertly too.
      Baxter: I don't know. I'd have to think twice about that.
      The Doctor: Fine, and if you were lucky you wouldn't die on the table while you were making up your mind.

    • Janeway: You don't have the luxury of thinking of yourself as an Emergency Medical Program anymore. You've become a full-fledged member of the crew.

  • NOTES (4)

    • With so few sets and new characters being used in the episode, it was intended to a bottle show. Unfortunately, this did not reduce the stress for everyone, since the script had to be rewritten to a new four act format, and no one got the final draft of the script until after they had gone home for the day, giving them less time to prepare for the shoot.

    • They had originally planned to introduce Janeway's gothic holonovel in the teaser of this episode, but they decided that they would shelf that idea and use Kim's discovery of the wormhole instead, since it was more exciting and integral to the plot. The holonovel would later be introduced in the episode "Cathexis".

    • The Dark Matters trilogy in the Voyager book series was inspired by the events in this episode.

    • Although credited, Ethan Phillips (Neelix) does not appear in this episode.